Accidental addicts: Prescription medications are killing more Aussies than illicit drugs. is a new initiative set up to help Australian’s battling prescription drug addictions.

In October 2014, a new initiative came about to raise awareness around prescription medication addiction and overdose. Four Australians die each day from prescription medication overdose and more people are dying from abusing these medications than illicit drugs. is a new initiative set up to help Australian’s battling prescription drug addictions.

While people start using prescription medications as a way of pain relief or managing anxiety, there are some who continue to take these medications because they develop a dependency to them.

Rustie’s story is one of the many experiences of Australians who developed an addiction to prescription addiction. They are dealing with the consequences of a silent addiction. This widespread problem is affecting an unknown number of everyday Australians.

Rustie was a former accidental addict who overcame her addiction.

For almost 32 years, I was living with an addiction to benzodiazepines and opiates. These are prescription medications that I bought from a pharmacy with a prescription from a doctor.

I started my journey with these medications at age 16 as a patient at a doctors surgery in Tasmania graduating to hospital Emergency Departments and later as patient in wards in hospitals across Australia from Hobart to Darwin, Kalgoorlie to Newcastle, Murwillumbah to Perth. I have had three surgeries on my spine and tests galore. Mostly though, I was given painkillers for pain and a tranquilliser called Valium to assist with muscle spasms in my lower back.

I don’t believe there is any right or wrong in my story, it is what it is. It would suit me well to blame the medical profession or to blame pharmaceutical companies that produces the medications. The truth is that the time spent pointing the finger would only serve to keep me sick and I have spent long enough as the sick victim.

Addiction isn’t for the faint hearted, it’s all consuming. It’s the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. My journey with Valium came to an end 5 years ago, after over 30 years of using and abusing them. Thirty years is a lifetime!

My life has changed for the better and I value every moment, I feel every moment. I have gone from a semi-comatose state of indifference to a fully functioning woman in society in every sense of the word.

For more information on Dr Shopping’s work, visit their website